Fucc Culture: An Inside Look | Part One

“CHIX OH!”

“MMM, SARAP NIYAN”

“AMEN NAMAN MGA PASTOR”

This is “Fucc Culture” and we’re seeing a lot of it nowadays. However, that’s only because parts of it started to gain the public eye; especially true with the recent “Pastor Hokage” scandal. Facebook groups are just the tip of the iceberg. This is a culture centered upon the exploitation of women; from passing around sexual photos and videos, to full on harassment of women on the street or in the workplace. This problem is systemic; dating back decades, precluding Facebook groups and all.

Source: http://www.esquiremag.ph

Pastor Hokage and his disciples

Blessed are the perverts, for they shall be heralded by their fellow men. Several Facebook groups bearing names of “Pastor Hokage” have recently come under the spotlight of the media and has faced a near endless barrage of backlash from social media. Inside these groups are men that come from different backgrounds, from teens to proud fathers. These men share a common interest, however. Inside these groups is a plethora of content from pictures of women in suggestive poses to full on pornographic content. However, at the core of it all is the amount of non-consented sharing of pictures of women. Little to none of the women involved know just how much images of their bodies are being feasted upon to feed the sexual desires of thousands of men they don’t even know. This is a system driven by culture within these groups for members  to pitch in or “ambag” to their collection. Furthermore, reports reveal the sharing of pictures of minors. Actual groups of human beings hungry to sexualize children. Even I am lost for words.

Pastor Hokage is by no means the only perpetrator. Before groups of thousands and thousands of men congregated to amass these content, women have long been subjected to this culture – albeit at a comparatively smaller scale. Commonly known as “revenge porn”, people have long been circulating non-consented pictures of their partners/former partners for a myriad of purposes. As the name suggests, the most common motivation is revenge, particularly for failed relationships. Frustrated lovers send pictures or videos of their exes to co-workers, classmates, or family. The repercussions are enormous. Some women are faced with the prospect of unemployment. Victims are subjected to expulsion from their educational institutions. Since it’s on the internet, these women face more than a lifetime of shame and backlash from their communities. While others get back their lives, some are not as fortunate; either by noose or a bridge over a river. Throughout all of these, rarely do perpetrators ever even face accountability.

Source: http://www.philstar.com

Finally, at the worst end of these problems, we have the decency to put the blame on the victims.

“Ginusto mo ‘yan!”

“Pok pok ka kasi”

“Sige, pairalin mo pa ‘yang kalandian mo”

Here’s the thing, no one in their right mind has ever wanted to be harassed, to have their bodies preyed upon be degenerates, to be treated as an object. It’s easy to say to victims that “if you didn’t want it to spread, then you should have never taken that photo.” However, those photos were never intended to be spread by their partners. It was intended to be a consensual act that the victim trusts, will never leave the confines of their relationship. In addition, some of these photos were never intended to be taken by the victim in the first place. Cases have happened wherein individuals were either forced, pressured, or abused by their partners in order to obtain the obscene images of  the victims. In the end, in most cases, insult is added to injury. We have the actual decency to look a victim, who has been disrespected, harassed, and violated, in the eye and say “this is your fault.”

Fortunately, governments have pushed to address this problem. The state of California in 2013 passed a law that addresses “nonconsensual pornography” through its inclusion in California’s computer crimes. Even our country now has the National Privacy Commission tasked with dealing with privacy related crimes and incidents. It still remains, however, that the best way to address this problem is an empathetic society. Having humanity recognize a fellow in need, instead of deepening the wounds already bleeding.

Fucc Culture is rampant. It not only brings shame but brings entire lives to a grinding halt. As a message to my fellow men, don’t do this, not simply because “para kayong walang ina/kapatid na babae”, rather because respect is an essential part of our humanity. We have testosterone, but we also have our neurons firing to make rational decisions. So please, stop.

Facebook groups and revenge porn are, like what I have said, just the tip of the iceberg. Fucc Culture extends everywhere, from the streets, schools, workplaces, and even family. All of these will be covered in the coming weeks.


 

You have a voice in all these. If you, or someone you know is/are in need of assistance, contact the following immediately:

  • Department of Social Welfare and Development
    (02)931-8101 to 07 or your local social welfare office
  • Philippine National Police
    723-0401 to 20 or your local police
  • PNP-Women and Children Protection Center
    410-3213 or your local barangay women and children’s desk
  • NBI-Violence Against Women and Children Desk
    523-8231 to 38/525-6028

 

Sources:

Rappler

Shouse California Law Group

Esquire Philippines

The Philippine Star

 

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#WalangPasok: Let’s Celebrate Death and Devastation

 

typhoon Haiyan

Nothing gets students to read current events faster than a #WalangPasok announcement. Now that school and typhoon season is back, we’ll definitely be seeing that more often. Admittedly, I also desire for breaks every once in a while… we all do, but the thing is, is it really worth celebrating about?

typhoon Haiyan

Photo source: International Business Times

“Yes! May mga mawawalan ng bahay ngayon!”

Statistically, the most common reason for the declaration of a class suspension is because of a typhoon. For most of us city folk, the experience is terrible. Hours upon hours of traffic pile-up, traversing the ever growing Lake Daang Hari, ruined umbrellas and outfits, and so on. About a few hours or up to a day of our lives is ruined. Imagine what happens to those outside of the cities, particularly those provinces lying on the typhoon belt. You don’t even have to imagine, you can see for yourself on the news… assuming you’d stay for awhile after waiting for the class suspension announcement.

mass gravetyphoon Haiyan

People lose their homes. Farmers’ crops – their sole source of livelihood, die out. Families are torn apart in evacuations. Entire families vanish underneath the raging storm surge. People who manage to survive are left scarred – physically and emotionally. Yet, during all the years of my study, I could count with one hand the number of people who actually cared to even bother with the disaster that is happening outside of the city limits. All the while watching the celebrations unfold on twitter.

Daniel Cabrera

Photo source: Joyce Torrefranca

“Ang saya! Wala na naman akong matututunan!”

On a few occasions, we do get breaks from classes due to reasons ranging from city holidays to transport strikes. “Nobody’s dying, nobody’s losing anything, why should I care?” Here’s the thing. More often than not, a lot of private schools in metro manila don’t often conduct make-up classes for days missed within the year. Love it or hate it, school is a necessity for each and everyone of us. Schools give us the opportunity to learn skills that are prerequisites for us to be productive members of society. In whatever shape or form, even technical-vocational schools provide the necessary skills training just to give its students an opportunity to be self-sufficient. School enables us to delve deeper into the reasons for mankind’s failures in the past. Had we not learned anything from history, we’d probably still consider non-Caucasians as sub-humans. School is often among the first areas we are taught how to interact with our fellow specie. Just imagine had we not learned to respect our own differences.

BACK TO SCHOOL. Overcrowding in schools is a phenomenon common in over-populated areas such as Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao. File photo by Dennis M. Sabangan/EPA

Photo source: Dennis M. Sabangan

If none of those reasons get to you, then at least think of the people who support your education. Be it your parents, siblings, relatives, or anyone else who has at the very least put a bit of thought or effort into making sure you receive something as a form of education. Ask yourself, how would you feel if you saw your blood, sweat, and tears, gone. Simply, gone. A forty hour work week, gone. A lifetime of monetary savings, gone. Just once, try to see from somebody else’s own perspective.

Screengrab source: CNN

Like a broken record, you’ve probably heard your parents say something along the lines of “hindi mo ba nakikita kung gaano ka ka-swerte?” More than looking at someone else’s misfortune in order to justify coming to school, I believe we should look at it from another perspective. “Anak, tingnan mo sila, kung mag-aaral ka, mapapaganda mo ang mundo nila.” This is how we should think about education and the less fortunate. School gives us a qualification and a higher probability of gaining employment or setting up a mean for being self-sufficient. With the opportunity we have at hand, do you really want to waste it?

Image result for classroom

Image source: iStock

As with every perspective, there will always be more than one. We must also acknowledge that our school system is flawed. There is a reason why many students enjoy time off from it – myself included. One of the main reasons is that school has failed to live up to its purpose. With a curriculum that attempts to cram more and more information into the minds of infinitely unique individuals separated by an arbitrary number known as age, what can you expect? There are students who may have developed differently and are being forced to learn something that is yet to be acceptable for his or her own cognitive ability. Students who want to pursue further knowledge into a certain subject are forced to remain within the constraints of a set curriculum. For a lot of private schools, students end up as nothing but a mere statistic on their balance sheets. Some that do succeed, are set apart as an advertising tool. Now it’s not even a question of why, but rather how are we not moving away from all of this?

All of these leave us in a sad state of humanity. Celebrating the downfall of others. Apathy for those who labor. Relying on a system decades due for an overhaul, and expecting it to work. Do we even have the right to consider ourselves human at this point?


Sources:

International Business Times

CNN

The Guardian

O, Binibining Bayani | Part One

Apart from the “special” bunch of kids who wondered “bakit laging naka-upo si Apolinario Mabini?” the general consensus is that we, the typical Filipino population, have at least some knowledge of who our Filipino heroes are. However, if I asked right now “who is Teresa Magbanua, Marcela Marcelo, and Agueda Esteban?” I’d probably get several “uhm’s” and a few permissions to Google it. Don’t blame yourself though, I also didn’t know who they were before. Why? Let’s take a look at the history of history.

File:Jose rizal 01.jpg

Rizal Portrait, Wikimedia Commons

As of today, nearly all of us know reformist writer Jose Rizal as the national hero of the Philippines. However, what not a lot of us know is that currently, the Philippines doesn’t have an official national hero. This is in spite of the initiatives carried out as far back as 1995 when the National Heroes Committee recommended nine historically significant persons for the title. This included Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino, and Gabriela Silang. On one hand, it’s great that these people are recognized by the general population as prime examples of courage and nationalism. On the other, however, we can note the fact that the only two women on the list, Melchora Aquino and Gabriela Silang, are probably also the only two women we can recall from colonial Philippine history. We can cite a lot of reasons, with fingers immediately pointing to our basic education curriculum. However, can we really put all of the blame on the DepEd? Not exactly.

female costume Philippines

Artist depiction, bibliodyssey.blogspot.com

Women’s rights movements have dated since the 1840‘s. It has had immense success especially in the areas of suffrage and labor. However, we must also acknowledge the overarching stigma in our society affecting females – degradation. We associated women with inferiority, ironically, because of the roles we gave them in the first place. Women during the colonial period were limited to being homemakers; and although we have given them right to be educated, we educated them as housewives. This cycle continued until it was inculcated. Many have accepted this limited role, simply because it had become the way of life. It is because of this association that we tended to overlook the roles women played in the revolution; “those are men’s jobs” we would assume. With the misplaced roles we have assigned them, even today’s educational curriculum fails to adequately represent just how big a role women played in the fight for our freedom. Not only did they keep supply lines and medical support running, some have even taken on a front line roles in combat. Yet, it simply is more convenient to remember them on the sidelines with their cooking and sewing. What a shame.

Like I said, not all the blame falls on our educational system, yet I also believe that it’s time to stop clinging to a mistake, even if it took us decades to make. We need to further recognize women in our historical records and our curriculum. All of which would trickle down for the better; for if we knew the reality of the potential women had historically, we will be able to progress well into a future of equity.

Who should we include? Come back next week for part two.


Sources:

National Commission for Culture and the Arts

Filipiknow

Aldrinlimequila (Photos)

Cemeteries are Worth More Than Bill Gates

IMG_7442 (4).JPG

“Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” 

You’ve probably already heard this quote; and to this day it holds true. However, despite death’s inevitability, not a lot of people think about it nor plan for it. No, I am not about to sell you a life insurance plan. I will tell you, however, that it is for this reason that I can honestly say that cemeteries are worth more than Bill Gates’ riches combined.

One Filipino dies ever hour because of kidney failure. End-stage renal disease currently only has two methods of treatment. Firstly, there is dialysis. However, despite advances in medical technology, most patients never see a return to their normal lives. Furthermore, because of its high cost and physical demands, some patients end up spiraling down depression. The more effective treatment is through organ transplantation. This, however, also has its own issues. According to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, there are over 7,000 patients in the Philippines who are in need of a kidney transplant. This statistic only accounts for those on waiting lists and doesn’t yet account for those who have not sought treatment for end-stage renal disease.

We currently have a shortage of donors. It takes great amounts of courage and generosity if you’d want to donate one of your kidneys. Furthermore, while living on a single kidney is possible, its not without its challenges. It imposes a dietary limit we have to adhere to, lifestyle changes to cope with lesser renal capacity, and more. In essence, we need both our kidneys. However, what if we ask the question: do we really need them…after death? Nearly 500,000 Filipinos died in 2011 according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. They estimate that around 1,300 of us die each day. Despite death being inevitable for every single one of us, I doubt that more than a few of us realize the opportunity that awaits us. We fail to see the chance to give someone else a second life upon the end of ours; that is through being an organ donor.

It may be because of different reasons. We may have simply overlooked the option, may not know about it well enough, or may even have some apprehensions about being an organ donor. Here’s a brief of what you should know about it. Prior to your death, you will have full control over which organs you wish to donate, and all of your decisions shall be honored with the utmost respect upon your death. This can be done through an organ donor card or through the option presented on the back of all Philippine driver’s licenses. If you choose not to be a donor, that choice shall be honored as well. Being an organ donor does not mean that once you fall ill or experience an accident, you will not be treated anymore and will have your organs harvested asap. You will get the same, full medical care as that of a non-donor. Only upon the meeting of all criteria to merit a clinical death will your body be assessed for possible transplant procedure. Once successful, you would have given another soul not only a new kidney, but also a new chance to live their life once again. You will have the opportunity to give someone a new breath of life – literally. And you may even give someone the opportunity to see for the first time in their entire life – to see the beauty this world has to offer, and to finally see every single person that as loved them in their life.

Talking about death may not really be the best subject in the world, but the beautiful irony of it is that it presents the opportunity of starting a new life. It is inevitable, why not take the task and make a difference!

For more information regarding organ transplant, visit the National Kidney and Transplant Institute website or contact them through their trunkline – 924-3601 to 19.


Sources:

National Kidney and Transplant Institute

Philippine Council for Health Research and Development

The Philippine Star

The Pathetic Case of Apathy

2017-06-12 (4)

Society has had its share of issues since time immemorial. The forties has seen the world nearly tear itself apart amidst a second war. The sixties through eighties have seen everything from the civil rights movement to near nuclear annihilation. The new millennium, on the other hand has been bombarded, both figuratively and literally with the war on terror, the subprime mortgage crisis, and more. All of these issues take on different forms, whether geopolitical, economic, environmental, or anything else. Despite this, it is possible to root out a cause – apathy, the single biggest problem of our generation.

Apathy, simply put, is the lack of empathy for one another. It can be summarized by the line “why should I care?” At this point, I would assume that you may argue, “if people are apathetic, then how come more and more people are vocal on social media, especially regarding politics?” In this case, empathy was used selfishly. Empathy, in this case, is often only used on the side which we would support. Divisions stem from this selfish empathy due to a lack of which for the other side. Furthermore, we tend to seclude ourselves from others’ opinions hence, leading to even more division.

The same issue abounds when it comes to social justice. The ideology that a man has the right to rape a woman because of how she dresses is still trumpeted even within families. This victim blaming further deepens their wounds; have they not suffered enough? Misogyny stems from this apathy for the rights of the female gender.

Another issue on which apathy is rampant is on climate change. The world has seen sweeping environmental deregulation; all in the push to squeeze out every ounce of profit available from mother earth. Where is the empathy here? Only the accountants of the oil and mining companies know.

Knowing the root of our problems, how are we to address it? Unfortunately, apathy is much harder to solve than we may think. Whether we like it or not, certain aspects of apathy are part of human nature. Prioritizing our own needs has been a foundation for our survival as a species. Furthermore, apathy is also deeply rooted within culture. Eastern culture, once renowned for their community-centric practices, have now fallen victim to the influence of apathy. Hope is not completely lost, however. Every single change adds up and I believe that a simple change of perspective for one, can be an impetus to change seven billion lives. Voicing out through social media is good; however, taking action in the real world is exponentially better. How pathetic of a species are we, if we care not for our community.